Ladies, Start Your Gardens!!! Special Offer!

Mar 12, 2009 | Uncategorized | 21 comments

Answers to the ?’s posted in this post’s “Comments”
-BERLIN, so FUNNY you should mention that in your comment, our house actually has a hidden room, very mysterious and according to our location in this state quite possibly used to store illegal liquor!
-I borrowed a corny little Walgreens greenhouse and set it up in my front porch last year.  It sure was ugly but worked well to start veggies.  And yes, I did spread my tomato seeds out on a paper towel in a Corning wear dish and spritzed them with a water bottle ’til they sprouted.  I had a vintage lamp in there with a nice hot bulb.  (That’s pretty much the way I do everything – jerryrigged!  Somehow I manage to pull stuff off!)  I would try to leave it on at night when fear of burning the house down didn’t grip me as I fell asleep.  This year I have an even cornier idea of plasticing off some windows in the kitchen…post coming I am sure.
-This house is about 150 years old and I am assuming the brick room where we have our “gym” was the canning cellar.  Though I have plans for a pantry/cellar down there in a different area for now I use these awful white closet organizer cubbies stacked on each other, I nail my onions to the ceiling rafters each knotted off in panty hose…my pitiful wine collection lives on these shelves too (post coming).  And yes, I’ve had the fear of poisoning my family too – I end up adding WAY extra lemon juice to a lot of my canned goods because of it!!!

Pink Princess and her Trader Joe’s Balloon!
Yesterday, thanks to a very caring family member I was able to hit Randall Road and stock my fridge and pantry in a way I have not been able to in a long time. The economy is affecting all of us differently; some are trimming down on vacations and extra trips to the mall and others are wondering if there will be enough grocery money this week! We have been falling into the latter category but this too shall pass and God continues to provide for us!

It was wonderful to be able to go to Costco and load up on tubs of organic lettuce (for my obscenely large salads I am addicted to at lunchtime), carrots, strawberries and more and after that we were off to Trader Joe’s for Rice Milk, and rBST Free Dairy Products. We are so, beyond blessed in this country to be able to walk into a store and pick from an abundance of food off the shelves but I am pining for my garden.

As wonderful as a full fridge is, I still hate buying something that I could have grown it myself. It’s not NEAR as much fun!  I dream of a day (that I firmly believe will come) when I can grow enough food to store year round, raise my own FREE RANGE hens for eggs and chicken stock, even raise a pig or two for loads of Nitrate and Nitrite free bacon and pork loins! I think I would even like to learn how to make a few different cheeses. How great it is going to be!

Last year we ate very, very well out of our little potager. We even picked 4 apples off our young apple trees. I was able to can pickles, tomato sauce, but still had to purchase my blueberries for jam…someday I will have rows of blueberry and raspberry bushes and a small orchard of apple trees from which to feed my little fruit bats…

I am pretty much a food Nazi. You’ll pardon the expression. There are no Little Debi snacks or Fruit Snacks and rarely (unless Gramms brings a treat) are there even Fishy Crackers in this house. (Most of all because my Blogger Butt would surely take over if there were! I could easily gorge myself on those tasty little oragne things!) If the kids get sugar they will get in in a homemade baked good or a small piece of dark chocolate. I do my best to purchase hormone free meat but it sure is difficult on a budget and I live so far from any store that sells it. Once at Meijers I asked if they had “Free Range” meat and the kid says, “Ugh, ugh, we have “Low Fat.” Aldi is a wondeful store for it’s prices but it is also what I like to call a “Partially Hydrogenated Nightmare.” As I try to feed the family as “close to the ground or animal” as possible the  Aldi deals on pre-made meals and mass produced meats are not for me. If I could let go of all my concerns about our food industry things would be a lot easier. But I am convinced that today’s health problems come from the fact that we do not eat like my Great Gramma did! Whenever I can I do my best to stick to these convictions.

We would be in big trouble if I did not grow my own food when I could. My little Fruit Bats are insatiable! Since 8am this morning (it’snow 11am) this house has consumed:
4 cups of blueberries
1 cup assorted berries
2 cups of yogurt
1/2 cup grape nuts
5 homemade scones
2 organic apples
5 Clementines
1 Cup organic baby carrots
Most of that was eaten by the kids! They are bottomless pits! Now, when I have my own farm someday I will be able to grow or make everything on that list except the flour for the scones and the Clementines.
Did you know you can even make your own Rice and Soy Milk? I hope to save for the maker soon – it’s about $150 but would save me hours in trips to the store for a product our family goes through like crazy!!!

Since the first 40 degree day; of which there has only been about 2.5 since, I have been planning and planning, considering my space (or lack thereof) and the efficiancy of my seed selections from last year…I have narrowed it down and have my Seed List for 2009 ready. Enough seed to provide my potager with daily cuttings of lettuce, tons of zucchini and piles of beans and hopefully enough to last me through next spring in my freezer and on my canning shelf. In fact, more than enough and that is the problem. It seems so frivilous to buy all these seeds knowing that I can’t use them all. Sometimes hundreds and thousands come in a packet and that is where you might come in. If you are considering a vegetable garden this year or do one every year and have not ordered or bought your seeds yet – how about considering buying half of my seeds?  Here is a little inspiration….

I have come up with my order and it’s going to be about $140 but I thought if there was a fellow “grower” in Blogland that I could share part of this with that would be great for each of us. So, my list is below and I am offering to split my seed order but not the price. For $50 plus UPS which will porobably be about $12 I will send you half of each of the packets listed below. If there are things on the list that you aren’t interested in simply pass them on, I don’t want to get carried away splitting the list up. If this idea is a bust then I will consider it.
I am ordering these seeds from Gourmet Seed dot com and have been thrilled with their products, many of which are untreated and Organic. They offer many hailing from Europe and centuries past…
Here goes–
Thai Basil
Blauhide Organic Purple Pole Beans
Bobis Nero Green Pole Beans
Saint Valery Yellow Pole Beans
Nantes Organic Carrots
Atomic Red Organic Carrots
Beth Alpha Cucumber
True Lemon Organic Cucumbers (Lemon color and shape)
Paris Pickling Cucumbers (Cornichon size)
Endive Rufflec
Mixed Small Grourds
Corn Salad (Lamb) Organic Lettuce
Bon Vivant Premium Lettuce
Centurion Romaine Mix
Mixed Red Leaf
Genovese Organic Basil
Violetto Dark Opal Basil
Lemon Balm
Cilantro Organic
Carentan Organic Leek
May Queen – European Gourment Butterhead
Orange Flesh Honey Dew Organic
Noir de Carmes Organic Melon
French Breakfast Radish
May Queen Petit Pois
Sweet Provence Sweet Peas
Giallo d’Asit Yellow Pepper
Rosso d’Asti Red Pepper
Purple Beauty Pepper
Baby Bell Mix
Pasilla Bajio
Early Jalepeno
Verde Chiaro d’Italia
Golden Summer Crookneck
Italian Red Cherry
Market Wonder
Tondian Maremmano

Whew! You’d think I have 100 acres!  Quelque jour!

I can’t wait to see Aidan walk out and proudly pluck a tomato and offer it to a passing neighbor! When he asks people, “You got beans?” and they respond, “No” just doesn’t understand. All he talks about is munching on handfulls of chives and tomatos. It’s gonna be 49 today…we are getting there!

I love it when the big box of seed arrives and I promise I will make your shipment just as exciting!!! So, calling all gardening. food growing bloggers…let me know if you’re in!

Vive les graines!  (Does that even make sense??)


  1. Valerie

    Wow…that is quite the selection and a very generous offer. The person that takes you up on your deal is going to be eating well this coming summer/fall/winter for sure!

    We just created our first raised planting bed over the weekend. My 4-year old and my husband are planting carrots, beans, peas, cayenne and jalepeno peppers. I plan to do tomatoes in pots. Seem to grow well at my mom’s house. This is our first attempt at gardening, but we are very excited to see what the fruits of our harvest brings!

    Blessings to you from Kansas!

  2. Bonjour Madame

    If I had a garden I’d be all over this. Someone is going to surely want to do this with you and I think it’s a great idea. I’m starting out with a small herb garden (container) this year. If it goes well, I may really go for it next year.

    I have a friend who has a huge garden and I asked her for advise. She told me “just put it in the ground”. Simple, yet her garden flourishes. Yours looks simply beautiful and I can’t wait to see what you grow this year.

  3. Farmgirl Cyn

    I think this is a great idea! I am getting a free year at our local CSA, or I would seriously consider taking you up on your offer.
    How do you grow some of these w/o a greenhouse? Don’t you have to start tomatoes in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill?

  4. English Cottage in Georgia

    What a wonderful post. You are one of the most ambitious bloggers that I visit. I too would like to be totally self sufficient, but am scared to death of poisoning my family, by not sealing jar correctly. I always laugh when I make that statement, but it is a true fear.
    I did have a small garden last year, tomatoes, okra, peppers, sweet potatoes and one watermelon. It was great for immediate eating, but I quickly ran out of space. This is an old house, where did the previous occupants store their preserves?
    I cannot wait to see pics of your gardening through the spring and summer.

  5. Anne Marie

    IF ONLY!! you would have posted (or let me know) about this sooner…except, my order was a little different- dealing mostly in herilooms, and I have been cutting back on some costs with saving my own heirloom seeds….
    BTW: save those seeds from whatever produce you bought…dry them…and plant them….
    easy as pie 🙂 pun intended….
    GREAT POST…and your energy is fantastic- you truly belong on a farm!

  6. à la parisienne

    I am very impressed and I feel inspired to get my itty bitty 4′ by 4′ container garden started! I admire the energy you put forth in feeding your family wholesome foods. That is something I am trying to work on but at a snail’s pace!!! Vive les graines!

  7. Debbie in CA : )

    Our family is deep in the throes of planning our heirloom garden. Jefferson and Washington provide our inspiration this year. (I think I’ll plant a gooseberry bush to join the blueberries and raspberries currently in residence.)

    One day I dream of supplying it all, but I have a fabulous organic market in town stocked with great items, good prices, and lots of friendly people. It works well for me. Though tiny by SUPERmarket standards I find just what I need in organics — buffalo mozzarella any one? I love to eat and eat well — it’s gotta be scratch, though. YUM!

    I find so much inspiration here on your energetic (and sometimes ZANY) blog. It’s a treat to come and visit you. : D Can’t wait to watch your garden grow.

  8. Old Centennial Farmhouse

    Oh, I wish I could take you up on that offer. But, my husband supports a VERY GOOD customer who owns a greenhouse, so we buy our seed and plants from him or I would be all over this. We expanded our garden last year, and I believe we will do so again this spring. I’m doing a gardening post soon, the itch is setting in! LOVE your blog! *Ü*

  9. Faith

    Ok, that post made me hungry!!! Your garden is so beautiful, and I love the picture of Ameile w/ the baloon. She’s getting so big. I hope we can visit soon. Love you!!

  10. Jen

    I love the photos of your potager. I’m hoping to start one this year, and I might like to share your seed order. Oh, one idea for starting seeds that I found recently is using plastic milk and juice bottles–mini greenhouses! I’ve been saving mine to try it out.
    My email address is on my blog if you want to contact me about the seeds.

  11. cityfarmer

    I’ve got the itch and i’ve got it bad.
    Cleaned out the North street beds today. Found green…tulips, feverfew, moss and poppies.

    I might get seeds down by Mom’s in a few weeks.

  12. Castles Crowns and Cottages

    Bonjour La Parisienne!
    Comment ça va? You are a Trader Joes fan as well? I am eat some TJ Greek yogurt as we speak. Spring is coming; out my way, we had a 60degree day yesterday (Minneapolis), the coldest city on the planet! Thank you for inspiring me to make a potager! Bisous, Anita

  13. Farmgirl Cyn

    Another question….When do these seeds need to get planted? I thought tomatoes and melons needed quite a long time in the greenhouse before getting set out in the garden. Are you going to have enough time?

    Just talked to your mum…hope you all are up and around soon. Plenty of rest, but you already know that!

  14. melissa

    wow, i’m very impressed. we usually have a garden in the summer, but we’re trying to go to having a year round garden. i’ve already gotten my seeds for summer, but can’t wait to come back here for lots of tips! i wish that i was more learned in all of this but a lot of it for us is just experimenting. anyway, absolutely LOVE your garden(s). they’re gorgeous! can you come make mine beautiful!?!? 😉

  15. Berlin Deluxxe

    Nothing like a full fridge and an abundant garden!
    I’m thinking that the brick cellar was perhaps used to store wine? Tales from the prohibition era sound much sexier than those of canning 😉
    You’re lucky to have such a wonderful home and cute baby♥

  16. Cathy

    I wish I was a gardener, but I’m not. I grew up working in my parents garden and as an adult have no interest. I admire your list of plantings.


  17. Alexandra

    What a robust post, so live and vibrant. Actually, where I lived there was not an Aldi, and now where I live, and well, I’m thrilled. The produce from Aldi is good. And here they sell wine just like they do at Aldi in Germany. it’s great! As a working, hopeful farmgirl, it pads my savings. How much fun are you going to have with those seeds. My gosh. Definitely adding you to my list dear ecclectic one. Have loved visiting.
    Big hug ~

  18. REAL ME

    Sounds like a lot of fun gardening!

  19. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~

    Woah girl, you are going to be a busy gardener. Don’t you just love it.
    We have quite a large garden this year. Just received my seed order. Come on over and check it out. I will be doing mostly heirloom seeds this year. Last year was my first heirloom tomato year and they were amazing!
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  20. Alexandra

    So glad you came by. Just finished baking up some chicken breasts, steamed broccoli, sliced fresh avocadoes, and tomato for a lovely evening pasta salad. It was finally warm here today and the sun was out after clouds and rain for the last 4-5 days. Was getting old wiping off Maggie after our walks, but she likes it.
    Have a lovely evening. Btw, gorgeous green eyes.
    Hugs ~


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